The design of this on-the-boards senior community will connect the City’s carefully executed past to its future design direction, downtown revitalization, and provide much-needed, affordable, age-qualified housing. Its contemporary design melds with the existing structures while working well with the multi-tiered site. This is an ideal location for this transit-oriented development as it links the seniors to BART, downtown Orinda, services across the street, as well as the adjacent community park and library.
With a 40 foot grade change, the challenging site provides an opportunity for a number of meandering paths connecting the future residents, the students of the neighboring school, and existing residents of the senior community above to the park, downtown, and pedestrian links to other walkable amenities. Taking advantage of the slope, two courtyards have been developed, one active and one passive, to allow for a number of outdoor experiences for the residents including, community planters allowing the seniors to till their own veggie garden or flower patch. Even with the steep slope of the site, the building is completely accessible, providing direct access from the effective wood podium to parking. Elevators give access to the community room, library, lounges, units, laundry facilities and a fourth floor exercise room, affording expansive views to the Orinda Valley.